New research presented at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting (ARM) predicts negative effects on health centers if proposed Medicaid financing changes of block grants or per capita caps are enacted. Another study represents one of the first multi-state, multi-policy examinations of the impact of Medicaid expansion on hospitalizations.
“Medicaid represents one out of every six dollars spent on health care in the U.S. and is the primary means by which states meet the health needs of their low-income residents,” said Enrique Martinez-Vidal, AcademyHealth vice president. “Medicaid data provides a snapshot of the huge swath of the health care system and the research presented at this year’s Annual Research Meeting provides insight into persistent challenges from quality to prevention to cost and access.”
Key studies at this year’s ARM include:
- Predicting the Impact of Transforming the Medicaid Program on Health Centers’ Revenues and Capacity to Serve Medically Underserved Communities
Research from George Washington University School of Public Health tested a model that simulates the effect block granting Medicaid or Medicaid per-capita caps would have on health centers revenues and capacity to serve medically underserved communities. Their results show that reducing federal Medicaid funding through either mechanism would cause health centers to lose money and reduce available services, particularly in states that expanded Medicaid. The authors offer recommendations to minimize disruptions to health centers from both federal and state-level changes.
Researchers from the University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, and Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice conducted one of the first multi-state, multi-policy examinations of the impact of Medicaid expansion on hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions. They found Medicaid expansions meaningfully decreased hospitalizations, length of stay, and hospital costs related to these conditions, as well as resulted in a shift in payer mix from uninsured to Medicaid.
- Who Will Accept My Medicaid Coverage? Comparing Quality of Care Among Physicians Who Do and Do Not Accept Medicaid
Researchers from the Yale School of Public Health and Brown University School of Public Health used Medicare data to examine whether quality of care differs among physicians who accept Medicaid relative to those who do not. They found that while quality of care was lower among physicians who accept Medicaid coverage, much of this difference could be explained by the complexity of patients treated and the local environments in which Medicaid-accepting physicians practice. The authors note that quality differences could play an important role in mediating the efficacy of the public health insurance program and recommend additional efforts to bolster physicians’ acceptance of Medicaid coverage.
For more information about featured studies, please visit www.academyhealth.org/arm/pressroom.